Ohmygoodness~ It has been such a whirlwind but I am finally back home from my trip to South Koreaa and I loved it! I have SOOOO much things to hash out~ pictures, videos, useful information~ The entire trip overview will be over 10 different posts so look out for it^^
Okay! The first part: the plane and the hostel
.I went with three galfriends and most of us used American Airlines (we found really cheap tickets through studentuniverse). Our first flight was a three hour flight to Dallas, TX. Then an all-night overlay leading to the 14-hour flight to Incheon International Airport. By the way this was my first flight ever. My first time on a plane evaa in life! It was incredibly nervewrackingg.
The first 3 hour flight was pretty smooth~ there was a slight delay when boarding but it was no big deal. Of course like a newbie I paid attention to all the announcements by the captain and flight attendants. I stared outside the window and took pictures of the sky~ The takeoff was like being on a roller coaster I held on tight and if you could’ve seen my face…LOL I was like eeeeek!!! Trying so hard not to direct attention to myself.
The overnight in Dallas SUCKED.
HARD. We arrived around 10pm, got our luggage and sat around talking for a few hours. The thing was to pick up our luggage we had to go to the pre-TSA part of the airport so there was no places to eat and no lounges to rest comfortably in.. We had vending machine snacks and water~ There was legit nowhere comfortable to rest so we just sat on these chairs with our luggage surrounding us (I was a teensy bit afraid of someone taking my shit so I hugged my luggage while sleeping) And by sleeping I mean napping in 20-minute intervals waking up by the ridiculous cold air and my numb arms and legs. It. was. miserable. mis er a ble . . .
We all woke up around 5am, checked our luggage and finally went to the nice part of the airport! My friend wanted a drink so we sat in a bar/lounge for about 4 hours and charged our smartphones! Finally around 4pm we got on our international 14-hour flight and it was smooth sailing to Korea!! The food pretty much was weird smelling and given at odd times so I suggest you buy food at the airport and bring it on your flight. (I had some Auntie Annes hehe)
ARRIVAL IN SOUTH KOREAAA.
Long story short: Arrived, went through customs and all that junk (not an issue, a baby could do it), got our luggage, bought a wifi egg && went down the escalator to board the Korrail to our hostel.
Wifi Egg– really cool thing. So apparently it is a little portable handheld device that has wifi connection. It can handle about 4 phones simultaneously within a 15km distance. It has a password of course so not just anyone can use it. It cost about $200~ for a month. Most telecom services have little kiosks in the airport that provide wifi egg services. I did have a international roaming plan on my phone with unlimited services but the wifi egg made my phone work soooo much faster and efficiently.
Korrail– Subway system! Kay, so in order to ride the subways or any public transportation you will probably need a T-Money Card. It’s like a bus pass. They work on subways, taxis, buses and all that jazz. We bought our cards at the 7-eleven in the airport for a very cheap cost. The cards have to be charged with money separately though at a little kiosk in front of the korrail. You can put any amount of money on the card and this money can be refunded at separate kiosks at your discretion. The T-money cards have all these different designs and they’re so cute. Mine is pictured below!
Next we took an hour subway ride to our hostel Itaewon Inn which was in the heart of Itaewon. Right off of itaewon station~ legit a 4 minute walk down from exit 4 of the subway station. We got to our place by like midnight probably? Itaewon is known for its nightlife so there were people everywhere ready to party so 3 girls with assloads of luggage had a hard time walking through all them peoples. lol. After checking in our room was super duper tiny. It was one room, no kitchen, no living room, just a bathroom. It was actually a mess prior to even arriving in Korea because my friend had received notice that the hostel’s management had changed and somehow our room was double booked. We originally had a two-room place WITH a kitchen but after paying some
bogus management fee we settled with staying in a one-room for the first 10 days of our trip then moving into our original room after the previous tenants leave.
I’ll talk about the good things first. The room had two beds, clean sheets ( i guess), and a working tv. The bathroom was small but it had a good arrangement where the showerhead was far from the toilet so there wasn’t much mess from that standpoint. The people who worked there were nice in general. No rude employees and everyone was pretty helpful. Not all of them spoke english well though..Most of them were of European descent I think..The hostel was run by non-Korean people as well. Another great thing was at the end of our trip they called us a car service and helped us carry our bags out 🙂
Bad things! Hereeeeeeeeeeeeeee we go! MOLD. ON THE WALLS. In 2/3 rooms there was mold on the walls presumably from the air conditioning units on the walls. In the first room we stayed in it was everywhere!! I felt so unsafe sleeping in that room. It was disturbing. The second room we stayed in with the kitchen, that room had mold near the window but it was not as spread out as the first room. The third room had no mold at all so that was good. Also!
The air conditioner in the second room leaked. Every 5 or so minutes drops of water would fall onto the tv, the drawers, on me~~ It was a little annoying but my friend who visited me said it was an older model so they tend to drop water. Another thing was they would come in randomly every few days to take the trash but they would also just walk in and look at the room? Their English wasn’t that good so I had no idea whether they were checking in on us or looking for something specific..it was unsettling for sure. The bathrooms had bugs. They were teeny tiny but there was one on the walls and floors every time I was in there. OH! And the shower..UGH there were two temperatures- ice cold or burning hot. like scalding hot. grrr.
But whatevs. It was safe enough that our apartment did not get robbed and there were security cameras all inside the building&& stairs. And it wasn’t too expensive to stay there for a month.
Okay that is all for this first installment of my summer in Seoul, South Korea! Stay tuneeddddd~